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21/09/2021

Derry judge warns people facing charge sheets or summons to seek legal advice

barneymcelholm
District Judge Barney McElholm has warned that people facing a charge sheet or a summons should seek legal advice as soon as possible or else they will lose credit. He said all too often people did not go to their solicitor until the last minute before they were due in court and that meant they were going to lose credit. Mr McElholm (pictured) said: "When someone gets a summons or a charge sheet if they do not act promptly and get legal advice and are in a position to tell me what they are going to do they are going to lose out financially at least if not worse by losing credit." People appearing in court can get credit, a reduction in their fine or sentence, if they indicate early on their attitude to the charge. Judge McElholm's comments came after the court was told that due to a shortage of resources the prosecution service could no longer get availability of witnesses unless there was a formal not guilty plea indicated.

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